TalkTalk launches voice recognition system for logging into accounts

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TalkTalk is introducing biometric technology that will enable customers to log into their account over the phone using just their voice.
The telecoms firm was the victim of a high-profile cyber attack in 2015 which saw personal information of thousands of users compromised. The firm has since said it would make securing customer data a priority.

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The new voice-based system, called TalkSafe, will be available to all four million of TalkTalk’s customers, and works by analysing the voice of a caller in order to log them into their account.

When the phrase “with TalkSafe, my voice is my password” is spoken, TalkTalk’s biometrics technology will analyse the voice to confirm it is that of the account holder.

More than 100 speech characteristics are analysed, TalkTalk says, including pronunciation, emphasis and speed of speech. Once the log-in phrase has been spoken and accepted, users will not have to repeat any personal details, even if they are transferred.

The company’s consumer managing director Tristia Harrison said: “We’ve listened to what our customers have told us about wanting a simple, secure service. TalkSafe is an important and exciting step on that journey.”

“As the first UK telecoms provider to roll out voice biometrics as standard, we’re proud to be leading the way in making this advanced technology accessible to millions of homes across the country at no extra cost.”

TalkTalk said the launch is part of a long-term strategy to make data more secure, by reducing the amount of information a customer has to disclose.

Some leading banks – including HSBC – already use voice recognition as a log-in option, while biometrics are also common on modern smartphones, many of which now have fingerprint scanners as a means of logging into their device as well as completing some financial transactions.

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